Who’s Really Japanese?

Who’s Really Japanese?

When I first came to Japan, things were so much simpler.  Men were men, Japanese were Japanese, and foreigners were gaijin.  Now everything’s gone to pieces, nuanced to the point that when somebody talks about “the Japanese,” I don’t even know who they mean.  That it’s not me is the only thing that’s clear.  Things…

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A Japanese Suicide

A Japanese Suicide

They say that no one goes through life unscathed.  But you know Ken Seeroi ain’t trying to hear that.  I figured hey, move to a nice safe country with pretty girls and amazing food and just avoid that whole scathing thing altogether. Well, you can’t say I didn’t try.  But instead, I found myself smack…

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How Japan Made me Gay

How Japan Made me Gay

I have Japan to thank for making me gay.  I’m pretty sure it did anyway, since it’s fairly dessicated my mojo.  I keep checking the mirror to make sure, but while I don’t look a whole lot gayer than before, the evidence is certainly mounting.  Like I woke up this morning and instead of my…

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Does Fluency Matter?

Does Fluency Matter?

I had a dream . . . that one day I would rise up from my nori-thin futon and speak fluent Japanese.  I had a dream . . . that I would one day live in a nation where little children would judge me not by the color of my skin, but by the breadth…

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One Startling Trip to America

One Startling Trip to America

There’s only one word to describe my recent vacation to the U.S.:  Oh . . . my . . . God.  Ohmygod. I went back for two weeks, or as we say in Japan, a fortnight.  That’s a long time when every waking moment is filled with The Horror.  By which I mean that between…

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My Very Brief Fight with a Yakuza

My Very Brief Fight with a Yakuza

This is the story I don’t want to tell, about my fight with a Japanese gangster, because it’s so horrible.  But I’ve held onto it too long already, so I’ll just lay it out. The night started out pretty much like every other, drinking with some random Japanese girl in Ikebukuro.  What can I say,…

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The Japanese Rule of 7

The Japanese Rule of 7

Seven Things all Japanese just Gotta Say It was my very first week in Japan, and already I knew something funny was going on.  I guess I’m a little astute like that.  I had this epiphany on the second floor of a small cafe in Azabu-juban, which is a rather upscale part of Tokyo, as…

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Japan, Happiest Place on Earth

Japan, Happiest Place on Earth

Well, I visited a Japanese elementary school this week and had lunch with the kids, which was some kind of sparrow egg stew or something.  It didn’t really agree with me, probably because I don’t like stew that much.  Of course, thinking about the main ingredient coming out of a sparrow did little to improve…

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One Very Small Japanese Motorcycle

One Very Small Japanese Motorcycle

Why is everything in Japan is so freaking small?  I really don’t get it.  Like, they say Japanese people are short, but they’re really not.  Sure, there’s some grannies who could pass as Seven Dwarf number eight, but there’s also plenty of folks around my height, and I’m six foot.  Although I do wear a…

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My Japanese AIDS Test

My Japanese AIDS Test

I went to see my Japanese doctor last week, because I decided I had AIDS.  This happens to me all the time, so it’s really no big deal.  The problem is that I recently moved, so now going to talk to the man in the white coat means I have to ride the train for…

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